Dec 30, 2006

Last Day of Work

Well today is marking several big cross roads.

First being it's my last day of work for hopefully a year. This last week has been fairly slow partially in part due to a 3 day week, and second slow business world. Unlike last week which was crazy I had 13 guests (a record by far) including a day with 5 of those in a row (I had to switch guests in the tight commercial breaks... I'm really really good at micing people now!)

Second is that this marks the beginning of my last week in Canada. I'm as of today about 95% packed and ready to go. Mostly (hopefully) just small details that need tending to at this stage.

Dec 27, 2006

Check out the Traum Vlog

hey there people of craig's blog. i'm traumador the tyrannosaur, and i'm just taking this oppurtunity to tell you not only about my blog but also my first ever vlog! i made it with not only the help of my agent peter, but also my good friend craig! so i don't think he'll mind me posting it here as it is kinda his work.

Uh Traumador, I do actually mind you posting this on my blog, and more to the point I mind you POSTING ON MY BLOG AT ALL!

oh hey craig! i didn't know that a blog could be used as a chat board like this...

Technically Traumador you can't. You posted this, and then I edited the post, and you did it again. Thus here we are AGAIN. Why are you posting things on MY blog?

cause my agent peter said that i needed to advertise myself more. so i hacked your blog with that list of passwords you used to keep in in drumheller. pretty clever eh...

You stole my password sheet?!? TRAUMADOR!!!

hey don't blame me if you left it lying around in that locked drawer in your desk hidden in a craved out copy of stephen j. gould's wonderful life.

This is not happening. Wait a minute. You've made me edit this post how many times?!? Enough of this Truamador get off MY BLOG NOW!

okay! phew good thing i wasn't on your blog just then. otherwise i might be in trouble...

Dec 24, 2006

Merry Xmas!

As a present to you my blog readers this Xmas I give you the WHOLE of Action Figure High.

Included are the links to the actual Youtube postings. Be sure to pop on there and give them a rating (you don't even have to watch them to do that!)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Final Action

The final chapter of Action Figure High Part 5. Also comes with end of story of its production. Note: Good grammer or compelling narrative not included.

Our drunken filming from the night before gave us the bulk of the movie. However many of the key cool scenes were needed. Just going to show how important and key action sequences are to movies today.

Our first order of business was the Pooky Wooky battle. This was stressful for me the story editor as if it turned out we had missed a scene with the monster after our torching it there was no going back. In the end we proceeded.

First we filmed all the action figure vs. Pooky Wooky clips. Then it was onto the actual flame thrower. This was accomplished by borrowing gasoline from Cam's neighbor Claymore and filling the Pooky Wooky's mouth to the top, and spreading it around Cam's front porch. We had everyone's still cameras filming it as well as my camcorder to capture different angles of this ONE time shot (kinda made us feel like a real production company filming that one multi million $ sequence). Unfortunately the other cameras would prove unusable.

The good news man did that thing burn! For 9 whole minutes! So well in fact we were worried that the fire department might get called in. Didn't happen. I had more then enough footage from the camcorder to pull off the scene in editing. The one bad side effect. The toxic smoke that rendered me and Cam coughing unhealthily for the rest of production (and in my case for 2 more days).

Then it was on to Dinoworld and all its fun. By far the most entertaining was making Yoda's car fly!

With that wrapping up me and Peter hastily set up Futureworld in the computer room using all available funky things in the house as well as 2 boxes worth of XMas lights.

Lastly too the basement we went to film the Sally confrontation. Was a fairly simple set up as Cam's basement is among the creepiest places in the world (still mad I couldn't rent it as my summer home!).

As we wrapped up Cam had to fly off to work, and me and Peter had to hit the road for Calgary. Was by far the most intense and efficient shot Prehistoric Insanity has done, and we have MANY short shots like this under our belts.

Enjoy this among our greatest achievements (though I wonder how much better it could have been had Dan been around that summer).

Stay tuned after Xmas for our greatest experiment and possible only folly. The Hardcore Apocalypse After Next Tuesday

Action Stations

Onto Part 4 of Action Figure High. Here's what happened next.

We began filming at about 8pm thursday evening. We had exactly 24hrs to complete the shot as me and Peter needed to be back in Calgary Saturday to attend a wedding.

The production plan was simple make up the story as we went around a general premise of Luke and friends get throw out of their typical nerdish/outsider existence at skool, and thrown into a wacky adventure/quest.

All the lines and comedy are improvised (not unlike our other movies LOL just this stuff is comparatively better). Helping fuel this perhaps was the beer we were all drinking as the night went on. If you watch the scene in Part 2 where Luke starts running to Yoda's hill you can see a brief cameo of a Carlson beer can (the official beer of Prehistoric Insanity... if only they still made it).

By the end of the first night we had the majority of the film done. Our only incomplete scenes were the outdoor shots of Dinoworld, the crazy Xmas lights of futureworld, and the confrontation with Sally at the end.

Though this was a short list of unfinished scenes complicating production the next day was Cam having to work his day shift at the museum followed by an evening shift at the Bar. How did we pull it off?

Tune in for Part 5. First watch Part 4.

Jumping into Action

Time for Part 3 of Action Figure High. Its story already in progress.

With our cast of props gathered (one of the few instances that having your props means you have a movie together) it was time to come up with a story and setting.

The initial idea surrounded a murder mystery in which characters would be killed off scene by scene. In the end the murders were going to have been perpetrated by the Ninja Turtles, but as we'd bought the Pooky Wooky (whose name won't be invented till filming) it was realized that we were going to need a whole new premise.

Cam and Peter came up with the fitting setting of a high school, and that we should have the cast be a group of questing students. Now I started on a first draft of the story which was a LOT more complicated and convoluted.

This story would have had a subplot of Thor's dad being overthrown as the mayor of action figureville, and multiple potential villains so that Sally's reveal would be a "shocker". Fortunately I was vetoed as filming began. The production motto was "keep it simple".

Cam and Peter eagerly spent an hour designing set pieces on the computer printing them and making the school. All the doors, windows, lockers, flags, and posters were made in this fashion. I was kinda third wheel during this process. My major contribution was gathering the AstroTurf from the basement.

With the school set up and two days to film we cracked open a few six packs of Carlson Beer, and began the filming.

The rest of the story to follow on Part 4. Till then enjoy

Xmas Party

This post is a little behind the times. Two weeks behind in fact, but I just managed to download the photos for it. So two weeks ago was the Royal Tyrrell Museum's Xmas party extravaganza!

It was probably the best non-summer visit I've ever had in Drumheller. Which is appropriate what with it being my second last outing there for a LONG time.

So the evening was held at the new restaurant in town The Quarry which was a excellent venue. If you're in town I highly recommend them. At 1102 highway 9 South C aka right beside the Dairy Queen.

So this was my dressed up self that showed up (though this photo is taken after I had a generous amount of holiday cheer... maybe that's why that string of lights in the background lines up with my head humorously).

So me and my peeps all ended up at the King of Hearts table (as nicely modelled here by Dan). They used these cards as a means of randomly selecting who would be selected for meals. Kirsten would get our table into some trouble when she misheard a call for dinner. From here on throughout the night the King of Hearts would be synonymous with trouble. Probably appropriate considering our roaster:

Here we have side one of the table.

The other side inversely.

Event one was the gift exchange. Hosted by the main man Tyler (seen here very happy with his task). Typical random present grab or steal event. Where it got interesting was that our table stole the most number of items making us ever more popular throughout the evening.
Fortunately stealing attention from us was the continual thieving of Megan's presents. Though In the end Megan ended up with the present I put in. A set of my best used books (as I'm clearing house for the move).

Here is a selection of the gifts our table drafted. The giant reindeer was my selection. Fortunately it was stolen. I'm just not seeing it as an easy task to ship a deer this size to New Zealand.

After the gift exchange was the Museum Xmas video which was pretty funny. Followed by games and fun including this cut throat game of Texas Hold em. I was eliminated pretty quick.

In the end our dear Dr. Francois sharked them all. What can I say he's got a PHD, you'd expect him to outsmart us all... So if the curator gig doesn't work out he's got a nice backup in Vegas

After losing our imaginary shirts came time to uh well indulge in refreshments. Like usual my partner in booze Cam was up for the challenge. So was Brad (who I had never had the privilege of drinking with before)

Didn't take us long to be off the races either. Between the three of us nearly a whole bottle of Absentith was consumed...

We of course weren't the only ones to enjoy some refreshments. Here we see a Blue Tongued Jenn who had been enjoying some manner of colored drink.

Concluding the night was a drunken dance.

All in all a very fun and entertaining night.

Dec 23, 2006

New Spanish Dinosaur

A new large saurpod was discovered in Spain. Having been named Turiasaurus this is among the largest dinosaurs yet found in Europe, and may even rival similar large giants from nearby Africa.

Giant Squid!

Scientists in Japan have accomplished a second big first achievments in the hunt for the giant squid. On Dec. 4 a team of Japanese scientists were able to hook and capture a squid 20 feet long and reel it up to the surface.

Here they filmed the living squid a first in history. Sadly the squid did not survive the capturing process. Also sadly I can't directly post the video due to stupid yahoo video

Dec 21, 2006

Production In Action

So here we are at Part 2 of Action Figure High. The year was 2005, and this movie almost wasn't a reality. If not for the well timed visit of Peter Bond in the last week of that summer this movie never would have happened.

Peter's visit coincided nicely with my freedom from museum responsibilities. We had just wrapped up camp, and were in the process of disassembling my home for the summer. With that out of the way I was free to worry about such things as filming.

Now granted I wasn't the driving force behind this particular movie. Cam takes full credit as the advocate and champion for this one. Having filmed some demo clips with his still camera he was able to sell me and Peter on a Team America style movie.

We had no idea as to a story, and our cast of characters was limited to the few franchises Cam possessed action figures of. The best decision we made during this pre production stage was going to the dollar store, and the Salvation Army store in town. Here our cast suddenly expanded and diversified, and with it so did our story potential.

At the dollar store we bought the most. Thor made his controversial origin here, and it won't be till we started filming that my pushing for him was accepted. The treasure discovery though was that of Wolfman Jack. I found him on the stand, a marine/soldier figure sprawled with crouch projecting. I laughed so hard picking him up and telling the guys we HAD to buy him. Best find ever.

There were also a bunch of unused purchases. We acquired a whole set of pirates who in the end were never used. Their mermaid love interests fortunately made it into the dance as Landos backup singers.

At the S Army we found things like R2's car, and Thor's dad. The treasure there was my discovering a giant blue fuzzy toy. It was creepy as all *%&$, and not "cool" by any means, but I saw in it a great potential as our villain. One that could be exposed to fire with no regrets.

A quick sidenote I claim credit for these great discoveries (Thor, Wolfman Jack, and Pooky Wooky), but don't get me wrong this isn't a ego trip. As you'll see this was probably my only big contribution to the pre-production. I also picked most of the stinkers that either didn't make it into the movie at all ($ wasted) and or were cut from the movie (my VERY regrettable Fing Fang Foom character). I was just along for the ride on this movie for the most part. This was Cam's masterpiece...

His debut movies tale continues with Part 3 soon... Enjoy Part 2 in the meantime!

More Then Meets the Eye

Well they've posted the trailer for the new Transformers movie...

Might be watchable. I'm not expecting amazing things from this movie, but according to the trailer it should at least prove visually amusing.

Sadly I can't post the video directly as it's a yahoo video with it's elitist format. So here's the link

Dec 20, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action... Figures that is

As promised yet another movie from Prehistoric Insanity's past. This round we jump forward in time to the interesting year 2005.

This year marked a sad note in the Insanity's history. Out of the original three stooges only I the weapon of mass imagination returned to Drumheller for the summer. Peter was off in University completing this education degree, and Dan had scored a sweet gig up at Fort Edmonton. This naturally made making a new movie difficult too impossible. Especially as I was living AT camp that year, which is a story in and of itself.

So for the majority of the summer it looked like a movie just wasn't going to happen.

The only thing that probably saved the whole year was that Cam became ubber interested in making one. Now talk was for a space movie of some kind. However due to both our schedules and a lack of interest of ANYONE else that worked at the museum that year (the majority of the new people were lame that year) this never materialized.

Where our eventual break through would come was the two of us talking about Team America World Police, and how awesome it was. Somehow we got on the idea of mixing Anakin Skywalker with Napoleon Dynamite (probably due to my being able to do Napoleon's voice really well).

Cam towards the end of summer was so into this idea that he filmed a demo with his still camera. This coincided very nicely with the arrival of Peter for a visit. Before we knew it we were in preproduction for a movie that would be filmed in less then a week at the VERY end of summer (all too formiliar from our desperate 2003 video adventure).

The rest of that tale awaits. In the meantime enjoy part one of what would become Action Figure High.

Dec 19, 2006

New Awesome Bad Movie!

This weekend I decided I needed to get a fix of terrible movies before the move, and figured a Dinosaur/Center of the Earth theme would do just the trick. Now I've been in a Center of the Earth zone for about a month, and the ultimate of such stories in my opinion are Edgar Rice Burroughs At the Earth's Core novels.

I've been aware of a terrible B movie version of the book for years (it was in a childhood book) but I'd never gone to the trouble to track it down till this weekend. Oh man was it worth getting! With its terrible yet earnest acting, sets, and special effects this is the sort of movie I aspire to make LOL

Your first sample of the action and effects. It doesn't get much more B then this baby! Despite this the movie's one impressive feature you get a glimpse of in this clip is the blue screen effects. They are actually very clever and well executed, and I tip my hat to the compositor. If only the creature designs were better. I think crippling this was the insistence on the man in rubber suit method of animating the critters. There are two cool creatures despite this.

As for the people well it's kinda inspired. Winner of worst acting of ALL time has to be Doug Mclure (one of the two actors who inspired Troy Mclure on Simpsons) who Dino Buffs will recognize from The Land that Time Forgot and The People that Time Forgot (also Edgar Rice Burroughs stories and also both films by the same director). Mclure's performance is so heart filled yet terrible I want to cast him in one of Prehistoric Insanity's films. Though I guess I'd get cut for him he's much better at acting then me ;P

Peter Cushings though not Mclure bad (he wasn't the one with a Simpson spoof after all) gives one of those awesome talented terrible performances that makes the movie a treat. Cushings delivers a unbelievably quirky and sarcastic performance as a sandwich of the absent minded professors who is remarkable deductive, and also over the top British (best line of the movie "You can't hypnotize me, I'm British!")

The female lead Caroline Munro though no Raquel Welch definitely helped the movie in parts. Especially due to her being with Mclure most of the time the Cushings isn't as to off set the terrible acting with either comedy or cavewomen uh sophistication.

My last quick point on casting this is also a very one of a kind Dinosaur movie. It is the only one I have seen that has Blaxploitation! Seriously there is a whole tribe of Pellculidarians who are black dudes with huge Afros! It is not to be missed!

Speaking of not to be missed, watch this clip! Best part of the movie hands down. Now it loses a slight amount of it's context as you don't see how this comes out of left field. A minute before this Mclure and Cushings have JUST started a rebellion, discovered the bad guys weakness, escaped through a crazy tunnel cave network, and are just standing there when suddenly female love interest is brought back into the movie from being kidnapped.

This lizard is among my favorite movie monsters of ALL time now... I think he should totally fight Godzilla! and blow up when he loses too LOL Oh and I forgot to mention Peter Cushing didn't have that bow or the arrows moments before this clip. Years before Mcguiver could even crawl!

So here's the trailer. It shows you 90% of the movies elements, and you probably will gather the rough story. What is kinda funny is that it follows the book relatively okay, and of course begs the question of why I like this silly pulp drivel, and to be fair I'll be the first to admit that Burroughs books aren't well written persay. He just has such great imagination in his worlds and universes a quality I'd like to say I share. Though like him I'm not so good on the delivery.

Which is where this movie though awesome for B ness also fails. It gets the poor Burroughs story right, but MISSES on all his cool little details.

The center of the earth just has a red sky, and is said to be a cave illuminated by lava. In the book it was a spherical globe where there was no horizon just the land curving up into atmospheric haze, and shining down on it the core of the earth a miniature star. Sure not scientific, but really imaginative.

The key villains the Mahar, a race of intelligent pterosaur with mental powers though plot wise the same as the novels lack all the subtles. They just stand around looking like guys in well rubber suits (though the camera work for most of it tries to conceal them as much as possible). Gone are their societal nuances. Missing is their true secret of being a purely female species that years ago came up with genetic engineering to eliminate males (Burroughs by the way wrote these books in the 1920's).

Why do I ramble about these details no one else cares about. Well it is simple isn't it. I'm pulling my Peter Jackson right here. If I ever make it even slightly big I'm so doing a GOOD Pellucidar movie!

Dec 18, 2006

Fossilized Skin

Today an announcement about a discovery of exceptionally well preserved fossil skin from a Hadrosaur.

The skin is so well preserved and three dimensional that scientists are hopeful that it might be possible to acquire soft tissue remains as they did from Tyrannosaurus Rex last year (from the same area, and geologic formation.

The Movie That Never Was

Today I immortalize another short clip from Prehistoric Insanity's history. In this case I go with our first attempt at a movie immediately following the completion of the Training Video.

Based on how good our mock Mission Infossible Trailer turned out in the Training Video me, Dan, and new partner in crime Peter were inspired enough to try and develop a summer movie (or 3) based on it. I also had a great idea to try and push the envelop a bit by making this a choose your own adventure DVD. Sadly we didn't get beyond this teaser (which we hoped would rally enthusiasm and participation from staff at the Tyrrell).

The premise was pretty simple, and very different from the museum's actual play of the same name. A discredited young palaeontologist Nate (played by myself) would get drawn into the super secret side of palaeontology where he'd have to fight such evils as fossil poachers, creationists, and of course scientists using the science of palaeontology for evil. The greatest foe would be Palaeo Central's (the spy agency) arch Nemesis Dr. Needles (who made it into EVERY 2004 production!).

We filmed this halfway up the highway 9 hill in Drumheller (which is halfway to the mansion, me and Peter's home at the time). Was a riot to film. Apart from two things.

First is the shot where I action hero style flip the hammer and catch it. That took like 20 takes, but you try flipping a hammer like that and not watch it in one take!

Second was the sequence where I throw the hammer AT Dan. Man was that stressful. One mistake and Dan was in hospital at best. Fortunately my aim sucked LOL. Considering how far away the hammer was from him in each throw the shots look really good.

So enjoy this view of what may have been!

Upcoming in the week the 2005 production makes its Internet debut... Action Figure High!

I'd stick with the 2004 theme of posting, but like so much of its history Hardcore Apocalypse after Next Tuesday is proving difficult to get on the net. It'll be my holiday project.

Comic Weirdness

After decades of the same style, formula, and overall content Archie comics is under going a major revamp. Now I personally am not a fan of Archie at all (in fact I hadn't read one till we did an Archie theme at Kiwanis in 02... didn't care for it) this change however even blows my socks off!

This is seriously NOT a joke! I totally thought it was, but I've had it confirmed by several reliable sources! Freaks me out too...

Dec 16, 2006

Chinese River Dolphin Extinct

After much speculation and uncertainty, an expedition searching China has confirmed that the Baiji River Dolphin is functionally extinct. The last formal census of the species confirmed a small, but theoretically savable population in the late 90's. This new search has shown that even if a few animals remain alive and undetected, the population as a whole is not diverse or large enough to mount a viable come back.

Training Video

Now that all parts have been posted with their own unique stories I figured I'd post the whole movie together for convenience. Once again enjoy the triumph and milestone that is the Unofficial Staff Training Video:

To get to the pure video on youtube click the part name (and be sure to rate it!). To get to the original post on my blog with the production story click the story link.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Training for the Future

Part 6 the conclusion to the training video.

Now as the story of how this movie came to be made has been told, I thought I'd quickly mention how this movie impacted the history and course of Prehistoric Insanity's other productions.

I personally would rate this as our second best production (second to only Delta Patrol our most current movie) due to its having a coherent story and somewhat watchable by none museum people.

This would be the first movie to have a Insanity type script (the 03 video had NO script whatsoever), and we would learn from this. For the first time making the training video we would do multiple takes of scenes, and on occasion even different angles (I point to Dan's really cool descent into the basement at the beginning of the movie). Probably most important of all we tried to tell a single story as opposed to a compilation of sketches.

Now the year 2004 would prove Prehistoric Insanity's most productive and active with 2 movies produced in that year (every other year only managed one, and 2005 was a close call on even just that). With Peter joining us in 2004 suddenly we had that much more momentium. I wish he'd been around for the Training Video because I think it would have been ten times better!

Now the Training Video had a legacy in our movie history. It inspired 2 failed projects for other summer videos. I had always envisioned and wanted more Stuck in Heller based movies (a concept I would be pitching till the end of my museum tour in 06). When that didn't take off we were inspired by our favourite clip of the Training Video and started to develop a Mission Infossible movie.

Of course sadly neither took off. When me and Peter sat down to brainstorm Prehistoric Insanity's most infamous movie The Hardcore Apoycalpse After Next Tuesday the Training Videoes legacy could still be felt. We still found a way to write in our version of Dr. Needles (the official museum version was kinda lame sadly) as the villian. Also little touches like the time tunnel from minimites was used for time travel.

When I think on fun times making a movie the Training Video is instantly my warm fuzzy memory. This is definately a real marker in my life as a triumph. I send out a real THANK YOU to all of you out there who helped make this happen. In particular Dan, Will, Peter, Cam, and Brad. Without your help this wouldn't have happened guys!

Training Patience

Part 5 of the Training Video though not the last part of the movie (one more to go!) we come to the end of the tale of its production. Tale concludes like so...

With one week left till the end of staff training (and thus the window of opportunity to have our video used) we turned in our rough copy. This first go was viewed simply by Brad, and he inflicted the first round of cuts. The key example of these cuts is the choppiness of both the breakfast scene, and Brad's own main appearance in part 2.

The second "good" cut, with all of Brad's changes, presented us with an interesting problem burning the DVD (a problem that would become universal for all future productions). After 2 days of trying to find a solution I was successful. We turned in the final copy...

The notes and feedback we got back from the higher ups was a little disheartening. Well okay it was devastating at the time. The short version was the video was rejected, and would not be shown in an official capacity at the museum.

Reasons for this were varied. The general theme was the administrator whose blessing we'd needed frankly has NO sense of humour. His notes stated he only enjoyed the Star Wars reference and the watering the plants jokes (one of these plant jokes was accidentally lost in all the editing however... it is gone forever).

It also showed the problems with their training ideology, and how out of touch he was (and still is) from the troops in the trenches. He stated this was an unprofessional impression to give new staff, and that it would counter their future success at the museum. I still find that funny. The videos that ARE shown in staff training are among the most boring I've ever seen. After 3 years of being forced to watch them, EVERY time (including my first year) the staff routinely mock and haggle the films while watching them. Our video attempted to beat the staff to the chase, and hopefully this would be entertaining enough for them to enjoy watching it...

So what did this mean. Well the goal of immortalizing ourselves in an official capacity wouldn't be realized. Yet. We had lost some really good material from the film due to the editing and censorship (at this stage I hadn't learned the importance of backing up raw footage so when it was cut it was lost...).

The one good thing was this. Due to their rejecting it me and Dan regained the rights to the movie. Meaning that we were able to organize a HUGE party at the end of staff training and show the movie at the mansion. It was a big hit! Additionally I was then able to legally post it on the Internet nearly 3 years later.

Enjoy! Part 6 to follow soon... With a quick look at how this movie fits into our production history, and how it effected future productions.

Dec 15, 2006

Training to Perfection

Part 4 of Prehistoric Insanity's biggest cyber video yet. Though mind you this will seem like nothing once I get around to the 200 parts of Hardcore Apocalypse! First though we must finish the Training Video and its story...

It was super late April of 2004 me and Dan both arrived in Drumheller about a week before work at the Tyrrell. Our mission to attempt to finish the training video in time for actual staff training. Typically training occurs over the first 2 weeks of the summer giving us a window of 3 weeks. Like so many portions of this production this deadline element simulated a professional environment. I think Prehistoric Insanity could cope and then some!

We immediately jumped on filming program sequences as fast as we could think of them. The goal was to make each of them as entertaining as possible while at the same time being unique.

First up we filmed one of my pet favorites the Hoodoo Hunter for the Badlands Guided Hike. This proved a slightly challenging shot simply due my stunt of rolling down the hill.

In this initial period of time we also encountered our first censorship issue. During reading week me and Will had popped out into the snowy badlands to film a Dinosite clip. It was deemed too much of an inside joke, and only useful if one was already familiar with Dinosite... So me and Dan hijacked Brad to help us refilm a new sequence. On the spot we came up with the idea of Billy the child Dan would play that would become a running gag.

Returning to the museum we quickly filmed the prep table, which ironically would follow Dinosite in the film as well. Returning to the mansion (my home for the first month of 04) we also filmed the summer day camp clip. This would for a little while hold the record for number of bad takes as I messed up my lines 6-8 times.

Me and Dan were given a deadline for a rough copy within the first week which pushed up the pressure. At this point we still needed Daydigs, Excavate It, and Mission Infossible. From the beginning we'd envisioned Mission Infossible as a trailer. However initially I'd wanted to make it using clips from real movies, primarily Matrix...

As it turned out my technological situation won't allow us to capture the clips from these movies though. At the time this was seen as a disaster. With 2 days to go we made a rush effort to get all 3 missing programs done.

We swallowed our pride and aimed to do a very quick and dirty homemade trailer of Mission Infossible. All components of the trailer were filmed in a miraculous half and hour span, and half that time was spent driving down the hill to the Drumheller sign. The rest was filmed around the Mansion. Our line reader Sylvie was one of the new roommates who'd just moved in that night (and as fate would play out she and her boyfriend would move out the next night...). Out of desperation and time conservation we had her read her lines like a bystander in a Buckley's commercial. At the time we thought this whole effort was a crappy jury rig solution. It would turn out to be one of the funniest things we've EVER done!

Later that same night we filmed the lego segments. This effort took us till 3am. Part of the problem being the longer we went the more tired and silly we got. A single line critical for a staff member to know took me 30 minutes to get right (I kept inverting the word bone and stone in the sentence).

With all that filmed I then began the frantic process of editing which I pulled off in record time. Last step was to grab our narrator Megan and record ALL the voice overs in less then 2 hours which was amazing on her part as I didn't have a proper script for her (a common theme with Prehistoric Insanity productions...).

Now we had a complete rough copy of the film. Project done you might think. Well in a perfect world yes. However there was still our last major disastrous hurtle as you'll see... in part 5.

Till then enjoy part 4!

Dec 14, 2006

Training Comes Together

Part 3 of the Training Video... Story of it's production still in progress

Returning to Calgary I begun the process of editing together what we had filmed on reading week 04. Immediately I fell in love with the intro sitcom sequence. History would show this was not the most popular part of the movie, but to me it is still my favourite.

I was able to get a huge amount of the beginning and end put together. However we had only filmed the clips for a fraction of the summer programs. We had Dinosite (though this first version would be rejected, and be refilmed in spring), Casting, Gallery Tour, and Mini Mites leaving us with over half the programs to film (and in most cases imagine a funny scenario).

The plan had been to film many of these program sequences during my time in Calgary. However due to a combination of lack of time and inspiration I was only able to get one done. This was the miniature Drumheller tour scene, and is in my top three program sequences. I was unable to come up with any other program bit in Calgary though, and these would have to wait till I returned to Drumheller where Dan could both help and star in these uncomplete parts.

By the time school ended, and I returned to Drumheller for the 04 season the film was about 3/5 done... Or at least so I thought. The saga of the last 2 weeks of production are a tale in and of themselves...

I present to you part 3...

Funniest Commercial Ever

Poking around with my youtube settings I accidentally came across this gem of a commercial from 05's superbowl. Enjoy

Training in Practise

As promised part 2 of the Royal Tyrrell Training Video. We pick up the epic tale of its production already in progress:

With a rough script, permission to film, and a team to carry it out filming was set for the 2004 reading week. I would drive up from Calgary while Dan and Will would come down from Edmonton.

First order of business was the equivalent of producer studio type stuff. Which is a first and only for us at Prehistoric Insanity. We had to negotiate with museum management the terms and conditions by which we were allowed to film, and more important show it in summer training. The general gist was that we signed away the rights of the film (which we got back... as you'll see later in the story) and that they had final say on which parts would make it into the final product.

So with this step out of the way our production team jumped into filming action. We filmed the walk throughs of the museum where there is no talking, and where other members of staff are seen in shot.

This was where we hit our first production snag. The higher high ups got mad at us for filming in the galleries while visitors were in the building. Yet no arrangments had been made to for us to film on our own, and more important they hadn't told us before hand about this restriction.

On this first night rather then wait on the solution to that problem we jumped on other key scenes. The first was the infamous breakfast scene in which myself, Daniel, and Traumador are all eating together. This was complicated for two reasons. Will was my second hand throughout the scene holding up the newspaper, and it was fairly uncomfortable for him. Second we had an external mic which led to our most complicated film shot of that time. Fortuently Cam and Evan were kind enough to help us with the sequence.

The next day we filmed all the sequences in the apartment which was all in Cam's house. Included in this was of course my favorite place in their house the basement (I tried for 3 years to live down there in the summer to no avail). We also filmed the sequences in the education office and the fake interview workshop that day.

This left us with all the storyline stuff, and not much of the training material. It looked bad. Without that meat there wasn't much point to the video. On our last day in town finally arrangements were made for us to be allowed into the museum an hour before it opened. This lead to a frantic, but in the end HIGHLY productive set of shots. Every shot with Traumador and Dan in the museum talking was done in this morning.

Just to make things interesting on that day though the external mic broke, and put the camera out of comission for an hour till our hero Ken could fix it...

That ended the first production phase. The story would be far from over however. We got the majority of the movie done EXCEPT many of the summer program clips. These would still be filmed over the course of the next 3 months of 04. Also the censorship and editing battle with the higher ups would begin...

These tales are yet to come. Till then enjoy part 2

Another Composer Gone...

Tragedy strikes the film score world once again with the passing of Shirley Walker...

Her most prominent work was that on the Bruce Timm animated DC super hero cartoons. Of which I personally consider her Superman theme the best ever written for the character (it combines the great elements of BOTH the John Williams and 1950's themes). She also composed the music for the short lived but fantastic Space Above and Beyond...

Dec 13, 2006

Training for Success

Though I've made you wait a little while for my next video upload I assure you the wait has been worthwhile (can't believe how long it takes on youtube... 30 mins for this one part!!!). Today you are being treated to what has occasionally been called Prehistoric Insanities best movie of all time.

That's right. Today you get the first part of the Unofficial Royal Tyrrell Museum Staff Training Video... You also get the first part of it's production history...

It's origins go back to the X-mas break of 2003. I visited Dan up in Edmonton drop off the completed 03 summer video. After watching the 03 movie we both were kinda primed by our success, and started thinking about future projects. One of us mentioned a training video for the new staff of the upcoming summer.

Before we knew it we had some great ideas for such a project. Quickly the story behind how Traumador the Tyrannosaur got his staff uniform was envisioned as the perfect platform for such a video. It provided the necessary elements to easily incorporate the educational components while still having a fun setting and cast to keep it entertaining.

Where this went from ideal brain storming about such a project to an actual serious idea for a pitch was the development of a central reoccurring joke.

Now the irony is today this joke didn't survive into the final edition for the most part. Through the editing and censoring phase of this production (a story for the next post) the rent joke was nearly all but lost from the movie (I posted the Phil Currie contribution, and Traumador still asks Craig for rent in this clip).

With this one central joke though the rough skeleton of this movie would be laid out. Known at that point as Rent a Training Video, I returned to Calgary, and for the next few weeks hammered out a vague script, and simultaneously pitched the idea to Brad in Drumheller.

Towards the end of Jan not only were me and Dan rehired, but also given the green light to film the training video with the intention of it's being used for training. We also recruited our good friend Will (who at that stage looked like he was returning to the museum as well), and set for production during the Feburary 2004 reading week... What followed next waits for telling in another post along with part 2!

So please enjoy the first installment:

Polar Marine Reptile

Scientists annouced the discovery of a nearly complete Plesiosaur skeleton in Antarctica. This is apparently the most complete fossil skeleton thus far collected in the South Pole.

Due to the extreme conditions of Antarctica this was a difficult specimen to excavate.

Dec 8, 2006

Past Glories

Sadly I didn't manage to convert a video file for internetability (been using my puter to edit wedding stuff). So while I was trying to burn the end result of that effort onto DVD (failing sadly) decided to sort out my summer photos of Badlands Science Camp for my upcoming trip into Drumheller.

Now of course that stirred up all kinds of memories. Especially since I had to sort the photos into rough chronological order. It's amazing how bad ones memories for the details are. I recognized most of the kids (though 2-3 out of each group of 24 weren't familiar at all!), but for the life of me couldn't place them with their group (that along remember most of their names). It's funny cause during the summer I typically knew all of them.

So the sorting process was kinda like sedimentary layer identification through index fossils. Only in this case index kids LOL

One category of photos that popped up were the kids creative works inspired by theme. Me and Peter catalogued as many of these as we could for the simple reason they were Hilarius.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with camp themes it's basically an ongoing dramatic skit or almost play going on around the kids that they are involved in. I've done about 2 dozen or so of them now. At kiwanis we'd swap the subject matter, but for badlands science camp we did a single one based loosely on mission infossible (my last video post).

In this theme a palaeontology related badguy threatens palaeontology, and the kids have to help the agents of palaeo central stop them. This year I pulled off my greatest theme ever! Through the casting of an outside actor (thanks again Dan!!!) to play the main villain, and he's sidekicks being very spooky but unidentifiable "Minions" the kids were totally into the crisis. Normally a villain is played by a staff member, and the kids fixate on that fact ("you're the bad guy!"). Remove that one aspect of familiarity from the villain, and the kids totally believe everything going on...

Don't take my word for it just look at these photos (enlarge them... some of these are PRICELESS!)

The real payoff on this one is the note at the bottom

This is about how the kids beat badguy's lawyer in court (kourt)

Done in true scientific fashion. Though the actual measurements are hilarious!

We now enter the drawing and sketching section. For a reference of a Minion here is one giving it's master Max E. Million (Dan) a shoulder rub... Best pic I could find of one sadly.

Their mother's need to come up with better names for their children!

This is among my favorites due to it illustrating theme at it's best. Very little about the Minions is talked about by the heroes (aka camp staff). The kids imaginations run wild, and invent all manner of new characteristics and abilities that Minions have. In this case note the HUGE claws that thing is packing LOL

Again their totally hooked. I'm only posting a fraction of these type of Minion portrait drawings me and Peter managed to snap a photo of. I'd find in surprising if any of these kids forget this aspect of camp even as adults: The Minions...

My last example (though I have many more). In this case again you'll notice a new tool for a Minion (that were always unarmed, and untooled). You'll also notice that awesome rendition of the main hero played by myself Professor Paradigm.

I'm sad knowing that there is a good chance I'll never reprise this role or do another theme at a summer camp again. At least these pics will remind me of a time that I left a real impact on these kid's summer experiences, and possibly gave them a few nightmares LOL

Dec 7, 2006

The Cream of the Crop

Well due to editing of a long term and overdue project (Dan's sister's wedding) I am unable to get anything too impressive up for the Prehistoric Insanity Cyber Video series.

So like my last few posts I'm going with the few good small things I have handy at moment. This is not technically a short of its own persay (though it could function as one), but rather a single component from the Training Video once again. In the buildup to that projects uploading I give you a staff favorite... Mission Infossible

Filmed in only 20 mins see if you can spot some of our time cutting techniques. Also be sure to check out the actual clip on youtube and rate it...

New Music!

Well it's been a long time since I've gotten a new CD... Superman Returns (by far the only great thing to come from that stupid movie!) is my last purchase, and some cool mix CD's Peter made me at the end of summer.

I was starting to enter that music boredom state of apathy with my existing collection (further helped by my lossing about 1/3 my music collection to techincal problems). So it is a good thing I finally got something to shake things up.

That being David Arnold's score to Casino Royale. Arnold has been a long time favorite of mine having done the scores to both Stargate and most important in my junior high days Independence Day. This is his fourth Bond score, but I had no idea he was signed on for this one till I saw the CD in HMV. I just recall I really enjoyed a few sequences of the music from the film. Makes sense he is usually really good (except in Bond films. Tomorrow Never Dies was awesome like the film, but he's last 2 bonds were kinda blah).

Listening to this I am forced to think of our dear friend Traumador the Tyrannosaur and his current undercover exploits. Hopefully he fairs better then 007 in this film. The score captures the darker tone of the movie perfectly.

Casino Royale by David Arnold: 7.5/10

Dec 6, 2006

First Cameo

Today at work I was quite surprised to have to greet a guest who I already knew... It was also something of a treat as I quite liked this person, and probably wouldn't have seen them before I left.

Now rather then keep you in suspense it was Professor Keith Brownsey of Mount Royal College one of my favorite teachers during my poli-sci degree. He didn't remember me initially, though once he heard my last name he remembered. "Ah yes Mr. Dylke I do remember you. Just didn't recognize you without your earphones on"

With this story as a backdrop for some reason. Not sure why really. I just thought it was a funny incident, and will probably prove one of the most memorable in this current job. I give you the start of the new string of Prehistoric Insanity Videos

This is from the sadly rejected training video of 2004. It is probably one of my most treasured video sequences ever due to the guest star, and for once I do mean STAR! We somehow managed to convince the one and only Dr. Phil Currie to appear in our video for a moment. To top it all off he refers to me by name!!!

This is huge for two reasons. One it's just freaking cool that I talk to Dr. Phil Currie in a movie! Two I never did manage to get an actual photo of me and him standing together... So rather then be out done by my peers I one up everyone.

So you understand the content of this clip it was a joke that Dan and I were forced to cut from the training video (the story of the training video and the video itself coming later this week!) that revolved around me giving anyone in the movie money if it was for rent. I personally thought this was the best of those jokes.

I leave that to you my internet audience to decide.

Dec 3, 2006

Our First (and only) Short

So this next video warrants some special explanation. More just because it represents a unique point in Prehistoric Insanity's history.

The year was 2004, and thus far me and Dan had made the stupid long and not overly great staff video the year before (the movie from which the other clips have all been from thus far)...

The Staff Training Video was on the edge of completion, and we were in the middle of planning a new movie for 2004 with our new conspirator in crime Peter... While attempting to plan for a possible palaeontology spy spoof (based loosely on a play at the museum) Peter and Dan grabbed the camera and chased the two resident cats around the mansion (me and Peter seriously lived in mansion that year!)

Peter then sat down at my computer edited and narrated together this little piece. Ironically the spy movie idea won't ever fly, and it would be 2 more months before before we got on the filming ball to start what would become our most infamous production... The Hardcore Apocalypse After Next Tuesday...

Great Cause

An old friend of mine Flower Frog from Kiwanis has currently had some major misfortune enter her life through cancer, and thus is trying to help raise funds for research...

Please check out her site, and donate if you can!

Better then John Accorn! If you can believe it!?!

The fun times keep on coming. Here we have the ever popular Royal Tyrrell Education Department Behind the Scenes! Enjoy!

Also be sure to visit youtube through this link and rate my stuff so it gets famous and popular ;p

Dec 2, 2006

Prehistoric Insanity Movies Go Cyber!!!

Well I've been threatening it for a long time. You've all been demanding it for a long time. Yet it hasn't been happening...

Till now!

Finally I'm posting Prehistoric Insanity Movies and Films on YouTube!!!

To kick off this series I start with what should be everyone's desire towards me for not doing this sooner!!!

So keep checking back here for the next week or so as hopefully I'll have a new video or two a day...

Including the long overdue, greatly awaited, much demanded, and the now DONE Hardcore Apocalypse After Next Tuesday!!!